Central Point district settles ex-business manager's suit

24-year school employee Vicki Robinson says she was denied due process in 2011 termination

A wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Central Point School District by its former business manager has been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, district staff said Tuesday.

Superintendent Randy Gravon said the settlement amount would be released later this week.

The case was brought against the district by 24-year employee Vicki Robinson, who was fired in August 2011.

In her lawsuit, Robinson claimed that a School Board on a "witch hunt" had led to her termination, and that she wasn't afforded due process during her dismissal.

The district settled the case out of court on Monday and has 60 days to submit documents to the court verifying the settlement.

A February trial has been canceled.

"I think both parties are pleased," said Gravon.

The settlement will be paid through the district's insurance company and will not affect the district's general fund, Gravon said.

Robinson, who declined to disclose the settlement figure, said the amount was "fair."

Robinson sued the district for more than $1.4 million in lost wages, health benefits, vacation time and other non-economic damages. She also had asked to be reinstated.

Gravon said that Robinson's reinstatement was not part of the settlement.

"I am not going back to work there," Robinson said.

First hired in the business office in 1987, Robinson became business manager in 1993, a position she held until she was placed on paid administrative leave in April 2011.

The district told Robinson that a number of poor business practices, including a $1.5 million budgeting error, had led to her dismissal, according to the termination letter she received from Gravon.

Robinson said that while she was placed on administrative leave because of the budget error, she was fired for allegations of other poor business practices and wasn't given an opportunity to defend herself.

Under the settlement, neither side admits any wrongdoing, and none of Robinson's claims can be brought to court again, Gravon said.

Gravon said he was pleased the district and Robinson were able to settle the case without going to trial.

"I'm relieved for Vicki as well as for the district," said Gravon. "We're all able to move on with our lives. We wish her well."

Robinson said she believed she would have won had the case gone to trial.

"We were confident we would have prevailed in a trial," she said.

Gravon said he would review the settlement with the school board during an executive session Tuesday night.

Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or tristow@mailtribune.com.

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